A Comparative Perspective: Vietnamese Migrant Workers in Ho Chi Minh City
This chapter focuses on my research in Ho Chi Minh City into Vietnamese migrant workers’ living and working conditions, and these are compared to their Chinese counterparts. By comparing Vietnamese labor law, the household registration system, workers’ patterns of migration, housing, transportation, food consumption, and labor market conditions, I show that the Vietnamese state advocates a different strategy to attract foreign investment, by setting a lower labor standard, or as I call it, “state-endorsed exploitation by sub-standard legislation.” Examining the Vietnamese workers’ everyday lives, I explain why Vietnamese migrant workers are able to have a better family/work balance than Chinese workers and better access to educational and community facilities than their Chinese counterparts.
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